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'N' for Nutrition! Monday March 7, 2016

Everything in moderation...

I remember as a student trying to save money by spending less on food. After becoming very ill I soon realised that my health was suffering... that I may not have been financially overdrawn, but emotionally I was bankrupt. I had no reserves... nothing left in the tank. Physically my strength had been compromised, as had my emotional resilience.

To keep ourselves in mental and physical good health we need a healthy balance - 5 a day at least to keep our body and mind well fed. We know this fact, alongside the knowledge that certain foods are mood lifters (such as fresh fruit, fresh vegetables etc). But do we always help ourselves by eating these types of foods? Or do we comfort eat?

The close link between food and mood is now more clearly understood. It's a habit we need to break and I can attest to its truth. By buying fresh fruit, vegetables and ensuring a balanced diet, I have been able to lift my mood and general well-being. My body feels better and in turn so does my mind. It wasn't easy at first as my body craved sugar. However, persistence paid off and as I started to feel better I became more motivated to continue. My 'lows' are less extreme and my skin looks better. I feel and hopefully look, younger.

So here I am on Mother's Day... sitting in bed with my cup of tea and a lovely bacon sarnie, courtesy of my three wonderful young children.

Today, the balance doesn't matter. It is a treat! It doesn't matter what it looks like, or even what it tastes like (it was yummy!), it's the thought that counts. My heart feels fulfilled and my emotional tank is topped up!

I can go back to blending my home-made, full of goodness smoothie tomorrow!

So 'everything in moderation' is so true; feed your body, your mind and your soul. Go out and grab some strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, watercress, carrots, broccoli, avocados and much more...

...and enjoy feeling great with the odd treat too!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Lex Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 5:48am

Great to see Jo blogging with us for the first time, and I love this message. L'xx

the room above the garage Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 6:11am

Hello Lex, is this 'N' in your A-Z or is that coming at a different time?

Jo Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 7:19am

Thank you Lex! :-)

Lex Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 8:24am

Hi RATG... this is the N. We had a bereavement last week that knocked us for six. Jo is a good friend who knows more about Nutrition than I do, so she kindly stepped in. For this, I am most grateful. Great blog! L'xx

the room above the garage Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 8:48am

Ah Lex, sounds like a shock and a painful time. Sending you all my thoughts and wishes and hope some sort of comfort is not far away. '...a thing of beauty is a joy forever...' Peace to you all, love ratg X.

Lex Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 5:38pm

Thanks, RATG. Sadness is part of the process - and Az was one of the world's finest. I'm OK with mourning him. L'xx

the room above the garage Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 6:18am

Hello Jo, fully agree! After my eldest child had a serious illness I dropped our diet like a stone and decided nutrition was my number one weapon of choice. I was a non-cook, ready-meal, no-confidence kind. Best thing I ever did. Albeit that I get "oh not eggs for breakfast, I hate eggs" regularly and even with pretend crying :-) Hope you enjoyed your bacon sandwich! Craving one now... Thank you for the blog, love ratg X.

Jo Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 7:18am

Hello ratg, I loved my bacon sarnie thank you! Thank you for your comment - I'm glad you have also found the benefits from healthy eating. I had to be very determined and still have to make myself stay on track; but the benefits are huge aren't they! And yes, my children will still moan about my supposed "mid life crisis"... But when I see them making their own smoothies, I know they like it really!! :-)

Hopeful One Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 8:26am

Hi Jo- so wonderful to see you blogging with us.I think it's a great blog for a debut appearance. Nutrition and diet should be at the top of the list for any body who has mood issues. All the fruits and vegetables you mention contain important constituents called flavinoids not to mention vitamins etc. They are the building blocks for serotonin and other good neuro transmitters.Indeed there is an argument in the anthropological world that it was the loss of these flavinoids and other substances when we stopped being a frugivorous (fruit eating) forest dwelling species and moved to the savannah with meat as a predominant meat eating diet. They claim that this shifted the brain hemisphere balance between the right to the left subjecting us to the left's linear, progressive logical ,emotionless endless chatter such that it now completely dominates the intuitive, emotional, compassionate right hemisphere. They claim this is the source of all the mental dysfunction we have to endure. For a more fuller explanation one could read " Return to the brain of Eden" subtitled " restoring the connection between neurochemistry and Consciousness" by Tony Wright and Ghaham Gynn.

May I squeeze in a small joke with apologies to all blondes?

An engineering student is walking along when a fellow student arrives on a new bicycle. Impressed, he asks, "Where did you got this beautiful bicycle?" "Well," the second engineering student says, "A couple of days ago I was just walking along when this gorgeous blonde pulls up, hops off the bike, rips off all her clothes, and says 'take what you want'." The other engineering student nods and says "Good choice."

the room above the garage Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 8:52am

HO, I wish you lived close. You have a wonderful balance of knowledge plus experience plus humour and would welcome having a touch more of you in my life. A shared joke a day keeps the monsters away... (I'm slow today. I need to stop procrastinating and do.)

Hopeful One Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 9:25am

Hi RATG- Thanks for the sentiments.Much appreciated.

Mary Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 9:56am

Just about to share this with an engineering friend of mine. Given that this friend is also a fitness model and conducts extremely flirtatious FB relationships with all his many female (and gay male) fans, I just know he is going to appreciate this. He loved the one about the talking frog princess!

Hopeful One Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 10:43am

Hi Mary- made sure I spelt 'blondes' correctly. Never crossed my mind my wee jokes could go 'viral'albeit in a small way.

Norman Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 10:50am

HO, Try putting your phone to your left ear. If you can, do simple tasks with your left hand/foot. Get that right-brain working!

Mary Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 11:14am

Forgot to say that he is also a blond! (And I pick him up on being "blonde" all the time!

Jo Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 3:36pm

Thank you for your kind words. First attempt and I enjoyed sharing my thoughts.

Lex Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 5:39pm

HO, you but the 'Ho' in 'Yo, Ho, Ho!!!' Loved the joke. L'xx

Maria Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 6:16pm

HO- I also appreciate your humor and have passed your jokes along. It's nice (and healthy!) to start my day with a smile. Thanks so much :)

Norman Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 10:46am

Jo welcome, (failte?),

Keeping up the diet when we need it is always problematical, when I'm in a good place I can do a cauliflower curry made entirely with organic ingredients, or grilled chicken breast with a range of healthy mediterranean style sides. When I'm down it's beans on toast from the local store. I keep both in just in case...

Bacon sarnie? I wish! Porridge for me (with water and salt, for my diabetes). Nutritionists believe that the fall in porridge consumption in Scotland is linked to the rise there in heart disease, obesity and other ailments.

Mary Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 11:13am

AM finding that, now hubby and kids are doing the cooking, our intake of veggies has plummeted to rock bottom! Not good. Must insist they make sure we do our 5 a day!

The Gardener Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 12:33pm

Jo, you've made me see red - not you, personally, but for the bitterness of 40 years of battling in one way and another for the nation's health. Soun tds pretentions. I've brought up 5 children, none of them have ever been overweight. when the boys were in their teens their diet was 60% carbs - but our doc said they WERE outgrowing their strength, it was not an old wives tale, and without frequent intakes of calories they'd fall over (on cold days, they'd get to school and collapse in assembly.) We were/are vegetable producers (so we have a vested interest). I was agro/political correspondent for a while, I wrote for trade papers and the local papers. I was on many committees who preached the benefits of 'five a day' before it ever was a slogan. The director of the BMA came and told high ups in agriculture that we'd got to re-breed our cows to make less fat. Impractical, expensive, and would take decades. Then, how do you stop women who are 'on a diet' getting a sausage for 'elevenses', The pastry, layers of cardboard, was full of saturated fat, and as for the sausage - it might have passed a pig or cow on the road. This 'snack' had at least 500 calories, I used to monitor trolleys at the local supermarket in a rather poor town. Most of the customers were overweight, most smoked - and they bought (then they knew no better) processed food, expensive and full of fat and sugar. A 'co-grandfather' never touched fruit or veg, dead of colon cancer at 60. So, sorry for the diatribe - mostly real sadness, all the education/publicity and the western world suffers the greatest explosion of obesity and its related ailments than ever in our history. People de NOT want to be done good to Mary, above, hubby and kids are eating what they REALLY like, proves my point - only done good to be force. Oh dear, end of rant, sorry

The Gardener Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 12:35pm

Sausage roll, of course - possibly followed by a doughnut to take the taste away!!

The Gardener Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 1:18pm

Oh dear, just had lunch of delicious home-made soup and marvellous brown bread. Memories. Two of my aunts lived in flats in Brixton, I swear you could smell them boiling the goodness out of their cabbage at Clapham North station. School responsible for a lot, bullet peas and tastless carrots. then 'Ugh, greens, Ugh, spinach.' After the 76 drought potatoes cost 5 pounds a sack - our parsnips, deep-rooted, survived, so I mixed them in the 'mash'. Kids lifelong dislike of parsnips now (tho' at Xmas they might deign to eat a really well roasted one).

Maria Mon, Mar 7th 2016 @ 6:22pm

Welcome Jo! I couldn't agree with you more. Good nutrition is so important to our health. Unfortunately this is often forgotten when I am not feeling well. A helpful tactic for me is to maintain a food journal. I sure feel better writing down a serving of fruit rather than junk food. For all the vegetarians out there - make sure you take a vitamin B-12 supplement or you will be deficient.

LillyPet Tue, Mar 8th 2016 @ 7:37am

Years ago I foolishly cut out all carbs for far too long and became so low and not realising why I had to see my gp who spelled it out for me! Thanks for a helpful blog Jo. Warmest of wishes to Lex. LP xx

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